The City of Sarnia is located at the southern tip of Lake Huron where the lake flows into the St. Clair River. With a population of just over 72,000 (2011), the city features good access by road, rail, air, and water. Detroit, Michigan, and London, Ontario, are about a one hour drive from the city.
In 1679, the explorer LaSalle named the site “The Rapids”. In 1836, the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, Sir John Colborne, renamed the city “Sarnia” which is Latin for the British Channel island of Guernsey.
Sarnia is the largest city located on Lake Huron, and with over 100 parks, sandy beaches, and hiking trails, the city offers many outdoor venues and activities for its residents. Local live theatre and a new art gallery, along with museums and performing arts centres, provide a strong base for the creative industries sector. These features, combined with the availability of affordable housing provide an attractive lifestyle.
Sarnia has traditionally had strong roots in the chemical and petrochemical industries. This economic sector continues to provide essential products to the market. The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership has been focused on developing the biochemical sector, and this strategy has already been successful with the establishment of Bio Amber’s facility. This new plant produces bio succinic acid, which is used as a base stock for a wide range of products from paint to cosmetics and food additives.
Sarnia is also home to a strong and growing entrepreneurial sector, with small business start-ups active in many fields. Access to reasonably priced business and residential real estate, proximity to markets in Canada and the United States, and a more relaxed lifestyle combine to make this a city of choice for many.
Industry and Community Highlights
- Strong arts and cultural community
- Affordable neighbourhoods
- Chemical and petrochemical refining
- Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park, ranked as one of the top 10 university business incubators
- Home of Canada’s Bioindustrial Innovation Centre
- Two fully serviced business parks (Sarnia 402 Business Park, Sarnia Research and Business Park)